Great White Shark following Kayak poster

Posted By on March 27, 2008

Great White tails a Kayak
This is an older photo that was published in African Geographic in December 2006, but I saw it framed on an office wall and thought it was pretty cool. Can you imagine Kayaking and being tailed by an interested Great White Shark? (by the way … its real — click photo for larger scan or it is available here in poster form.)

I was suspicious as to it being real … so had to check it out myself. (see link)
Shark Kayak
This amazing photograph shows a great white shark trailing a man in a sea kayak. The photograph’s caption explains:

Sitting in a 3.8 meter sea kayak and watching a four meter great white approach you is a fairly tense experience.

Although some have doubted its authenticity, the photograph is genuine. It was taken from the September 2005 issue of Africa Geographic. The article details a study of Great White Sharks in South Africa by biologists Michael C. Scholl and Thomas P. Peschak. Kayaks were used to study the sharks because, unlike the motorized research vessel, they could manoeuvre more easily in shallow or treacherous water and had no engine noise to disturb the sharks’ natural behaviours. The authors explain more about the incident shown in the photograph:

Although we had extensively tested the sharks’ reactions to an empty kayak and had observed no signs of aggression, this gave us little comfort as we eyed a great white heading straight for us, albeit slowly. Just a metre or so from the craft it veered off, circled and slowly approached from behind. It did this several times, occasionally lifting its head out of the water to get a better look. Then it lost interest, and as it continued on its way we were able to follow a short distance behind. Once we’d come to terms with having nothing between ourselves and a four-metre shark except a thin layer of plastic, our kayak made an ideal research platform for observing great white behaviour in shallow water.

The article provides a very interesting insight into Great White Sharks and includes a number of other excellent photographs.

Sharky Shores


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.